Never take the shortcut!!

Trip Start Aug 01, 2013
Trip End Oct 02, 2013

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Flag of Italy  , Lombardy,
Tuesday, September 10, 2013

For the first time, we slept with the windows open, and with a blanket. The lake was so pretty as the lights came on, and the church bells chimed.

Last night, after our treacherous drive, and even more treacherous hike, Eleana, told us there was a shortcut to our car. About half way down the very steep path, Jim reminded me of all the horror movies where you always yell, "never take the short cut!!" I laughed so hard, I almost fell!! It was a beautiful walk through the woods, over streams, zig-zagged through fields and down stone paths until we got to our car. Good way to get your heart pumping in the morning.

We drove to Bellagio, found a parking lot, went to pay, and 3 of the 4 ticket machines were broken. Good thing we had lots of coins. Just as I got the ticket, it started to rain. We pulled out our raingear and headed to town. Didn't rain long, and here we sit, having coffee and waiting for the ferry to Varenna.

Quick ferry ride, they're a great way to get around. Found the TI office, visited the Chiesa Di S. Giovanni Battista, the oldest church in Varenna, then Chiesa Di S. Giorgio, it's celebrating it's 800 th anniversary (1313). For 5€ each, we got tickets to the Garden at the Villa Cipressi and the Villa Monastero. Beautiful gardens along the water's edge. One of the small buildings said 1815, so at least that old. We spent a good few bit of time there, took a lot of pictures, and left for lunch.

John, I wish I could describe food the way you do! I think this was our best meal. Ristorante Quatro Pass, on a quiet side street, was perfect. Quiet American blues playing in the background, we were the only ones in the place. Started with a glass of Prosecco (sp?), then prosciutto with melon. Jim had the "lake spear", which was shrimp, fish and grilled veggies, with a great presentation. I had fresh linguine with lobster and cherry tomatoes. Unbelievably delicious. Cappuccino and creme brûlée (still flaming) for dessert!!

We decided of all the places we've been, Varenna is the one we could live in. It's quiet, beautiful, overlooks water, and has a direct train from Milan.

We walked back along the water, did some shopping and took the car ferry back. I took a picture of a bus coming off the ferry. I can't believe it fit, along with 10 or 15 cars!!

We're back in Bellagio, sitting at yet another cafe. Jim's grading some homework with free WIFI, and I'm updating the blog.

Found some olives, meat and cheese for dinner, and drove back to the church for our pickup. They said it would be 10 or 15 minutes, so we waited. A different beat up, white car came tonight. The driver, an older gentleman, said the other car went boom, twice. I think he meant it had two flat tires. He drove us as far as he could and we started our trek back to the Agriturismo. I don't think we walked 5 minutes before it started to rain. Made it to our room before the real storm started. And what a storm it was! Thunder and lightning and clouds so thick you couldn't see anything. After about an hour, the rain stopped, and we have our beautiful view of the lake again. We thoroughly enjoyed our picnic dinner, wrote a few postcards, and read for a while.

Tomorrow, we say good bye to Italy, and head north through Switzerland, Lichtenstein and back into Germany.

Buona notte.
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